Residents of Queens can expect their water rates to go up by 19 per cent in the new year.
A water rate study presented at the last session of Region of Queens Council indicates water rates in the municipality are among the lowest in the province.
According to Region of Queens mayor Darlene Norman, most municipalities undertake a water rate study about every four years.
The study presented to council is the first to be done in Queens since 2002.
Norman says relying on data that is so out of date is costing the municipality.
“What I do know is that our utility is not bringing in enough revenue to match our expenses. So we are applying to the UARB for a slight increase in the base rate for the next three years,” said Norman.
If Nova Scotia’s utility and review board (UARB) approves the increase, users will be charged a base rate of $81 annually as well as a consumption charge of $1.21 per cubic metre beginning in 2022.
Norman says saving money on your water bill is simple.
“If people want to reduce their bill, they find ways to reduce their water consumption.”
The mayor says the Region needs to address issues with their water infrastructure as the study estimates half the treated water is being lost through leakage.
“Our water treatment plant may be new but our pipes in the ground are 1890,” said Norman. “Which is why, when people wonder why we’re always digging up streets and doing things, we’re finding leakages.”
Norman expects the Region will make their case before the utility and review board sometime in January.
That hearing will be open and any member of the public is welcome to speak on the proposed rate increase at that time.
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